The school buses are rolling again, the leaves are changing here in the East and many other places (picture: Aspen, CO – thanks JL), and someone just told me summer is over. Ahhhhggggg. What? Another transition into Fall, then into Winter (please be gentle)? But isn’t this what life is…really? Just a bunch of transitions strung together like beads…or pearls…depending on your mindset. I’d suggest we see them as pearls…even when they may have not been the most enjoyable or easy transitions. They’ve made us who we are. They’ve crafted our beliefs and mindset(s). They’ve allowed us the opportunity to grow…to learn…to evolve.
One of my favorite dialogues from Back From Heaven's Front Porch is when Paul talks with Jake about transitions:
“Life’s really just a cycle of transitions, Jake. People who know this and put some effort into these transitions, those that actually create the other side of the transition, are the ones who, in my humble opinion, seem fulfilled. The others…,” he chuckled “well, they just bitch too much!”
Ah, such wisdom from our friend, Paul. It always make me smile when folks who’ve read the book talk of their sadness at Paul’s passing. Paul spoke often of transitions and I offer you this definition for consideration… “passage from one state, stage, subject, style, or place to another.” That sure sums it up. I’m certain we could all make a list of the transitions we have or will experience; I offer these:
• Into school and out of school—kindergarten and all the way up
• Into relationships and out of them
• Into Love and out again
• Into jobs/careers and out of them
• Into Faith and out again
• Into pain and out again
• Into parenthood…and grandparenthood
• Into sickness and out into health
I invite you to consider others.
How we confront these transitions is vital to the life we produce for ourselves—and the growth that we experience…or not.
My transition into kindergarten was difficult. My parents were away on a trip and my grandparents were watching my sister, two brothers and me. I was all good to go on my first day to Immaculate Conception School outside Baltimore…navy slacks, white shirt, clip on tie, sharpened #2 pencils. I was ready. But as with many transitions, anxiety and fear showed up. So as I made my way down the driveway and the anxiety and fear grew I made a bee line to the large maple tree standing at the bottom corner of our driveway. I scampered up about 10 feet and refuse to negotiate with anyone. I was not going to school and that was final. That is, until my stern (but lovable) German grand mom threatened to call the fire department to come and get me down.
I went off to kindergarten, made some great friends, took some naps, did the milk and graham cracker thing. It was actually pretty cool. My lesson for this transition…things are not usually as bad as we make them out to be. It was likely my first encounter with the “unknown”, and the fight or flight syndrome that often accompanies this. Ha, I think of that incident often.
What I did not have at that time in my life was the ability to imagine kindergarten being fun and me being happy. This is so key to transitions…for us to create the other side in our minds…to vision the ideal state we seek on the other side of the transition. I am not perfect at this…probably never will be…but I have become much stronger at this…and the outcomes are always more positive and close to my vision.
I found this article by Martin Brofman Ph.D. as I searched for how this vision-thing may relate to illness/sickness. You may want to take a few minutes to read this very interesting article about how Dr. Brofman healed himself of “terminal” cancer through a consciousness shift. Fascinating insight.
So, again from our friend Paul, “Life’s really just a cycle of transitions, Jake. People who know this and put some effort into these transitions, those that actually create the other side of the transition, are the ones who, in my humble opinion, seem fulfilled. The others…,” he chuckled “well, they just bitch too much!”
I encourage you to reflect on your experience with your transitions…and experiment with what I offer here.
Let’s do ourselves a favor…let’s not bitch (okay, maybe just a little)…let’s see the other side of our transition and hold strong mindsets, and take the appropriate actions to get us there!